Latest Public Sector News


New transparency rules for government contracts

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has set out plans to trial a new transparency clause in public sector contracts.

Setting out changes in response to an Institute for Government report that called for an increased openness, Maude said the government would work with suppliers to craft a "mutually binding contractual clause on transparency", and promised that all public sector contracts would in future be drawn up with "a presumption in favour of disclosing information" to the public.

"The presumption in favour of disclosure should apply to the vast majority of commercial information about government contracts, with commercial confidentiality being the exception rather than the rule," the government statement on its transparency policy states.

In a report published yesterday, Enhancing Transparency in Public Service Contracts, the Institute for Government outlines how private and voluntary sector suppliers to government could be required to publish important information about their operations and performance.

Maude said: “These align with our principles on transparency, and support our development of a transparency clause which will ensure that public authorities can make the necessary information on outsourced public services available to the taxpayer.

“We will trial a similar version of these provisions later this spring as part of our commitments under the National Action Plan with a view to adopting them once we have consulted across Whitehall.”

The new transparency clause will require suppliers to agree a schedule with government to release information to the public.

It will also open up all government contracts to audit by the National Audit Office.

Suppliers will also need to provide the Crown Commercial Service with financial updates at regular intervals throughout a contract as part of financial transparency, which will help improve government’s understanding of their costs, revenue and margins.

The Cabinet Office guidance said this will help government become a “principled, experienced and responsible customer” and it would not be looking to introduce burdensome reporting requirements.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

What came first, the bad customer or the bad customer service?

17/03/2020What came first, the bad customer or the bad customer service?

Source: PSE Feb/March 20 Stephen Bahooshy, Senior Commissioning Manager and Nicky Selwyn, Carer and Service User Group Chair, Croydon Council.   Here it is... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >